Children love to play games – and they are a great activity for parents to get included in too. As they get older, the games also get better, testing the skills (and ability to be a good loser!) of the whole family. Here are the Supernanny Team’s top recommended games for five to eight year olds. So turn off the TV and settle down for some right rollicking fun! Party, party, party!
Orchard Toys, £9.99
A whole family of testers loved this game and it has already been played with numerous times. Each player has a handbag and has to move round the board finding accessories before they get to their party. It’s straightforward to follow, but great fun, particularly the innovative idea of including a mobile phone card on the board. This means players can “ring” someone else and get them to put a card back.
Junior Scrabble, Mattel, £15.99
This junior version of the classic spelling game comes highly recommended, not least because the game board has two sides, with an easy game (“Words and pictures”) for younger children, and a harder one (where they actually have to prove they can spell!) for the older ones.
It’s educational, but fun, and a real family game. Our seven year old tester adored the older version (it made her feel grown-up) while our four year old enjoyed the younger one. Excellent.
Coppit, Rocket Toys and Games, £4.99
You may remember this classic board game from your own childhood. Some of us at Supernanny Towers certainly did, and it's as much fun as ever. The aim is to catch opponents' caps by landing on them and putting your cap on top. You then need to take them back to your base, without being "copped" by another player....Your counter can move anyway it wants to, and it's clever in that you have to decide whether to be safe and always move away from your opponents, or go nearer, and so try to catch them. Really good fun as well as being good value, and actually lasts a reasonable amount of time, which means you can keep the kids entertained for longer!
Uno Spin, Mattel, £19.99
This is fantastic fun, and will appeal to anyone from age six to much, much older. The idea is a variation on the classic card game, Uno, but includes a great new twist – a wheel which you can spin and completely change the way the game is going.
Not cheap, but an excellent addition the family games cupboard.
Screwball Scramble, Tomy
Definitely not for little ones (although they may enjoy having a go), this is a game which definitely encourages patience! It sounds simple – you have to get a small ball around an obstacle course – but it’s actually devilishly hard. With great appeal to all ages, this one even encouraged Dad to have a go when the children had gone to bed!
The Magic Tooth Fairy Game, Drumond Park, £14.99
This became an instant favourite with our six year old tester (definitely helped by the fact that she currently has a wobbly tooth!), and looks likely to remain one too.
It’s a variation on a classic game theme, with players racing each other around a board. This time, however, they are on a quest to lose their teeth and give them to the Tooth Fairy! The magic comes when they do lose a tooth, as they put it under the pillow of the game’s magic bed, plunge in the fairy wand and are rewarded with a gold coin. This game shows that kids don’t need fancy electronics to enjoy themselves. Great fun – for anyone who’s ever lost, or is dying to lose, a tooth!
Destination Animation Disney Pixar, RTL games, £14
Our testers (and their adults!) thoroughly enjoyed this game, although it might be beyond the youngest of players. Also modelled on a classic board game theme, players must pick a famous Disney character such as Woody or Nemo and work their way around the board collecting animation frames. The winner is the first to collect all twelve frames, and so watch their character come to life in the Magic Lantern.
Very different and really good fun, although it’s unclear how long this game would keep on appealing once all the animation scenes have been watched.
Pop to the shops, Orchard Toys, £7.98
Another great offering from Orchard. This one encourages children to think about spending money (and so exercise the mathematical part of their brain!) all in the guise of a really good game!
Players must buy various items on their trips around the well designed, attractive board. They will learn, and have fun, so what could be better?
Good value for a long-lasting game.
Junior Pictionary Mania, Mattel, £14.99
This game is for the older end of the 5-8 market, but proved very popular indeed. It’s a little complicated to set up the way the manufacturers have suggested, but can be played very simply indeed – by drawing the suggestions on a card. You can, of course, also play it as suggested, by having to do the drawings under all manner of forfeits.
A classic, which looks set to attract a whole new generation.
Guess Who?, MB Games, £9.99
This really is a classic game, which encourages your child to ask questions to find out whom their opponent has as their "mystery face". Takes a while to set up on first playing, but after that, it’s ready to go and one which youngsters and their friends can happily play for ages.
Bratz Starchaserz electronic board game, Drummond Park, £15.99
Brand new for 2008, this has immediate appeal for thousands of young girls – our testers were no exception.
Each player has an appealing lipstick playing piece and needs to collect the autographs of all the Bratz girls to win. The only problems were that not everyone could clearly hear the Stylesville Radio Dome, which reports where the girls are, and that it’s not totally clear which Bratz girl is which (even our fans weren’t sure) and they don’t have their names printed on them (only in their stamper underneath).
This was a little frustrating, particularly with the names, but we have to say that our testers were still very happy with this game and definitely thought it was “cool”. It’s certainly different!
High School Musical Mystery Date, MB Games, £27.99
The TV musical that has youngsters (particularly girls) enthralled, now has a tie-in game. What could be better? It is pricey, so probably one for a special occasion, but will appeal to the older of the young ladies in this category (7 and up).
The aim is to win a dream date with your favourite High School Musical character, collecting clothing and accessory cards to get ready. An appealing modern twist on the classic “mystery date” game.